Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Junky's Christmas

IT WAS Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat. This beat benny wouldn't pawn for a deuce, he thought...

[from The Junky's Christmas; by William S. Burroughs]

I am of the opinion that the late, great writer William S. Burroughs needs no introduction. But if you are not familiar with him or his works, this Wikipedia entry should suffice. Otherwise, Google his name. What does William S. Burroughs have to do with Christmas, you ask? Well, one of his fictional works based on his own heroin addiction is the short story The Junky's Christmas, from which I have quoted as the lead for this entry. And I have just learned that an animated adaptation of this story was made back in 1993; with Francis Ford Coppola in the producer's seat, no less! The basic story is: Danny the Carwiper, a heroin addict, gets released from the holding cell on a mid-1950s Christmas morning, and spends the day trying to score. When he finally does and settles down in his cheap hotel, something unusual happens. Ah, yes ... a treasure for the entire family. Er, well, OK. It's really only for family members who are 18 or older, of course. Here is a nice little review of the special, which the writer describes as "probably the least-shown animated seasonal special in history." And, if you care to do so, you can read the full text of the story.


KaneCitizen said...

FYI: The Junky's Christmas is coming out on DVD next month.

brainwise said...

That's good to know. Thanks!